German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: By 1979, the GDR had a well-developed system of propaganda with staff at every level. It still had a problem: why after thirty years of the existence of the GDR did West Germans still not recognize the superiority of socialism? This is a directive for propagandists at the county level, giving them arguments to explain this awkward fact.

The source: “Die antikommunistische Grundhaltung der Bürger der BRD” The original in the library of Stiftung Archiv Parteien und Massenorganisationen in Berlin. The call number: E 159-78, 13a.

Anti-Communist Attitudes of West German Citizens

SED County Office Rochlitz


In his speech to the county first secretaries, Comrade Erich Honecker noted that we cannot ignore the anti-communist attitudes of the larger part of the citizens of the West Germany. Since then, many citizens of our county are asking: “Is that also true of our relatives?”

Several comrades have asked: “Is that also true of the West German working class? How can that be, since we always say that it is the most revolutionary class?”

The DKP [the West German Communist Party] states: “The decisive force in the struggle against big capital is the working class.

Objectively seen, the working class is and remains the most revolutionary force in the struggle against imperialism. However, it must be conscious of its role, and must be capable of fulfilling it.

However, as we read in the platform of the DKP:

“Under the sharpening crisis, reactionary forces and cultural win growing influence through big capital’s manipulation of public opinion. It seeks to disorient people, to conceal the fundamental contradiction between their interests and those of big capital, and to make authoritarian forms of rule look more acceptable.

Democratic forces in radio, television, newspapers, and publishing are increasingly restricted. The mass media increasingly spread anti-communism, nationalism, and other reactionary ideas, promote an inhumane view of mankind, justify and exalt outdated social conditions, and distort history.”

This manipulation of opinion and the “politics and ideology of the right-wing Social Democratic leaders, who defend the capitalist system and subordinate the interests of working people to big capital, and who deepen the split in the working class by their anti-communism” leads to a broad crisis on the part of West Germany’s citizens. It is a central reason for their anti-communist attitudes.

Manipulation has reached a certain level of perfection in West Germany. It is used to keep people from socialist ideas and progressive thinking, and to strengthen anti-communist agitation.

Let us look at the West German reality. The notorious anti-communist Bild Zeitungalone spreads hatred and slanders in a daily edition of seven million, and is read by at least 15 million West German citizens,

That explains why our relatives from West Germany say things that sound absurd or narrow-minded.

They feel endangered by a “red threat,” consider communists and terrorists to be identical, and claim that there is neither freedom nor democracy under socialism. The class consciousness of many West Germans has been distorted. Many follow those who, objectively seen, are their enemies.

That is shown by the anti-communist attitudes of many West Germans.

They usually don’t show that in an overtly hostile way while visiting the GDR, rather display the previously mentioned narrow-mindedness.

That, too, is a reason for the anti-communist attitudes of many West Germans.

The energetic and blind anti-communism of aggressive German imperialism has increased since socialism has dealt it some strategic defeats.

The GDR, as a firm part of the socialist community of nations, is a bulwark against its expansionist lust. That is another reason why it cannot accept the GDR’s existence.

West Germany was established by the most reactionary circles of the German monopoly bourgeoisie and US imperialism as a “bulwark” of anti-communism against the people, against social progress, and against the advance of socialism in Germany and Europe.

West Germany was established not only as an anti-communist bulwark, but also as a base for rolling back socialism.

The conjunction of anti-communism and Revisionism has led West Germany to particularly extreme manifestations of the Cold War.

Thus, today the phrase of the “German Reich” as a “contemporary government reality” is propagated in order to keep the German Question “open.”

That is another reason why Bonn will not recognize the citizenship of GDR the GDR’s people, and why it wants to extend the reach of the West German Basic Law to the territory of the German Reich of 1939, and why it won’t extradite the double murderer Weinhold. After all, he was acquitted by a “German court!”

Anti-communism has been the center of the ideology and policy of the ruling capitalist forces for several generations.

From Bismarck’s social laws to the Weimar Republic and the fascist murder squads, they have slandered and persecuted socialists and communists. It ranges from the banning of the KPD [the precursor of the German Communist Party] and the ban on communists working for the state,

Neo-Fascism is returning as well. They are allowed to gather and great the Fascist poison in millions of copies. They attack the new and progressive forces.

West German Chancellor Schmidt even thinks: “German democracy can survive an occasional swastika!”

To maintain its class dictatorship, the West German monopoly bourgeoisie controls a powerful ideological system that has been built up over centuries. It has monopoly control over the theoretical institutions, which spread lies and slanders against the GDR. It controls and misuses the educational system and has an enormous apparatus of modern mass media to use for anti-communist manipulation.

All this influences the thinking and actions of West Germans. Over 90% of them, for example, voted for anti-communist parties in the last parliamentary elections.

We therefore need to do everything we can to help West German visitors leave the GDR politically wiser than they were when they arrived.

Our most effective way to demonstrate the absurdity of anti-communism is to increase the attractiveness of socialism and to demonstrate its values and advantages to the entire world, above all by fulfilling our main task, the unity of economic and social policy.

[Page copyright © 1998 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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